What is the mail system like in Nicaragua? Is there one?

How about package delivery company's like UPS?

What is the best way to mail order something? Is it even worth it?


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Had my bank air mail me a new debit card the other week. They literally had the regular envelope (even addressed to my US mailing address on file) still sealed inside the FedEx envelope. Date on the letter was January 18. My neighbor handed me the FedEx envelope on January 20 and said I'd just missed the delivery guy.

Not exactly an import but at least we know FedEx's service won't slow you down.

P o Box

Ralph, I have a P O Box in Boaco, I receive my mail and packages there.

If you get anything shipped by DHL, UPS, or FedEx have to go to the Customs House in Managua to pick it up. I've had camera gear mailed from New York (on line orders). Everyone can import up to $500 worth of stuff without paying taxes every six months and it shows up at your local post office.

Correos hasn't lost anything sent to my P.O. box yet in over a year.

Rebecca Brown

i dont know if it ..

was transexpress or what..but its 1 time every if u bring in something for $100 ..and pay no duty on it..and bring something in for $300 in the same 6 month period..u pay duty on it..

Strange but that's how it works

It is exactly as stated which is "up to $500 one time each six months". That is, both conditions must be met to qualify.

It is also not a $500 exemption. If your package value (product plus shipping) is $501 then you do not qualify for any exemption. It's a strange rule but once understood at least it can be dealt with.

Note that I have nudged this rule a bit at times. I use a company who offers a US address and then forwards things to me. I use it mostly for correspondence but they will also combine packages and forward them. The package invoices will have shipping charges only for the US delivery so the total value does not include the international shipping costs plus I can get multiple packages into a single one.

I had no problem with it.

Certainly better than having a postmistress who used to give all my mail to my grandfather so he could throw away my Rolling Stone.

Rebecca Brown

When I lived in the desert west of Victorville

the UPS guy used to give my packages to his daughter who was a receptionist in town who gave it to her son who was a paperboy who delivered it to me....

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand

Better than the UPS guy in rural Virginia

...who left a package on my back porch for someone I didn't know and I didn't notice for a couple of days at least.

Nicaragua seems so straight forward compared to that, or UPS in Philadelphia who adamantly refused to leave packages for me at an apartment building even though I was getting tons of free books as a contest judge, and who lied about nobody being home more than once.

Rebecca Brown

I love the Nica bus/cargo system.

The paper comes in two sacks, every week on the 5:30pm out of Huembes. $10. It works perfectly.

I love the inconsistencies here

My first B&H order was the duty-free, no IVA one on my cedula; second order was not if I wasn't willing to go to Managua, according to the woman at Correos in Jinotega, but I was told that if I'd gone to Managua, that would have duty free, also. I happily paid not to have to spend a morning at the Customs House as this was just after the eight days without electricity.

Rebecca Brown




First, couriers can clear packages of values up to $1000 for you. Now, whether they do it or not is another issue. If you are a new customer, they may have you pay the duty in advance of them clearing it rather than collecting it when they hand you the package.

Everyone is incorrect. Nicaraguan legal residents can. Note that the last time I had a package in correos they told me I needed to go to Managua with my cédula to update the records. There was no "mail a copy/FAX a copy/email a copy" option this time which are all things I have done in the past. But, there is a fair chance that was just one of those "variables" we experience all the time.

I believe but am not sure TransExpress will (somehow) clear packages of value over $1000 but they have been a pain to work with unless you are in Managua and can walk into their office. If a package is valued at over $2000 then you must use a customs broker rather than clearing it yourself.

DHL refused for me.

...and there was no duty on the Kindle shipment (which included a few book, too). I understand that DHL is useless that way. Nobody here has gotten FedEx or any other carrier (other than Medrano Express) to save them the trip to Managua -- I understand that DHL behave better with you at least at times.

I was told that I had to go to Managua for the second B&H package to be "no pago" but it would be "pago" if I got it in Jinotega. The amount I was billed was more than IVA would have been, but I was depositing it to the Correos bank account, so I figured it was just one of those things and not anyone in the Jinotega Correos doing anything untoward. The weight on the invoice was different than the weight of the package, so the guys in Customs had been concerned and wanted to see a copy of my order. The muchacha ended up reading it to them over the phone. Nothing was missing.

First B&H package, I only paid something like 4 cordobas; this second one got rather more complicated, but I didn't have to go to Managua in the end. I cheerfully admitted that it was my second order in less than two months and I had no problem with paying to avoid a trip to Managua.

Correos always takes my cedula number when giving me packages. This time, the guy on the phone (in Managua) also wanted my passport number.

What I think was the question was does the Nicaraguan PO exist and work -- for that, the answer is yes. My publisher used to be afraid to send contracts that way but we haven't really had any problems.

Rebecca Brown

Start here:

Start here: The "Communicate" sub-page is a good starter but there is also Importing Things and Consolidate Freight.